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Google Scholar (GS) is an important tool that faculty, administrators, and external reviewers use to evaluate the scholarly impact of candidates for jobs, tenure, and promotion. This article highlights both the benefits of GS—including the reliability and consistency of its citation counts and its platform for disseminating scholarship and facilitating networking—and its pitfalls. GS has biases because citation is a social and political process that disadvantages certain groups, including women, younger scholars, scholars in smaller research communities, and scholars opting for risky and innovative work. GS counts also reflect practices of strategic citation that exacerbate existing hierarchies and inequalities. As a result, it is imperative that political scientists incorporate other data sources, especially independent scholarly judgment, when making decisions that are crucial for careers. External reviewers have a unique obligation to offer a reasoned, rigorous, and qualitative assessment of a scholar’s contributions and therefore should not use GS.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
One of the more debilitating digressions in the evolution of the scientific enterprise is the controversy over the relative importance of models and data. Time and again, in every discipline from archaeology to zoology, the issue has reappeared with sufficient force to engage scholarly attention and to generate reams of rhetoric. In the social sciences, as in the biological and physical sciences, we have expended considerable energies on the data versus model (some would say “theory”) emphasis, usually to the detriment of scientific advancement.
As one looks back on the important developments in political science over the past two decades, there is much to be applauded. While it may be premature to say that we have come “of age” as a scientific discipline, the field is clearly in better shape today than it was in the early 1950s. One indicator is the ratio between mere speculation and observed empirical regularities reported in our journal articles. Another is the decline in the percentage (if not in absolute numbers) of our colleagues who insist that political phenomena are just not amenable to scientific examination. A third might be the dramatic increase in the number of political scientists who have been exposed to training in the techniques and rationale of data making and data analysis. The list could be extended, but we need not do so here.
On the other hand, a stance of comfortable complacency would be very premature. Not only have we fared badly in coming to grips with the knowledge-action relationship in the abstract, but we have by and large done a poor job of shaping the policies of our respective national, provincial, and local governments. Since others as well as myself have dealt—if not definitively—with these issues before, let me eschew further discussion of the knowledge application question for the moment, and go on to matters of basic research. Of the more serious flaws to date, two stand out particularly. One is the lack of balance between a concern for cumulativeness on the one hand and the need for innovation on the other. My impression is that students of national politics (at least those who work in the vineyard of empirical regularities) have been more than conscientious in staying with one set of problems, such as the relationship between political attitudes and voting behavior. But students of inter-national politics have, conversely, tended to move all too quickly from one problem to another, long before cumulative evidence has been generated and before our findings are integrated into coherent wholes.
To define the range of clinical conditions Canadian emergency pediatricians consider appropriate formanagement by physician assistants (PAs) and the degree of autonomy PAs should have in the pediatric emergency department (PED).
We conducted a cross–sectional, pan-Canadian survey using electronic questionnaire technology: the Active Campaign Survey tool. We targeted PED physicians using the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) network database (N = 297). Three outcome measures were assessed: demographic information, familiarity with PAs, and PA clinical roles in the PED. The level of PA involvement was assessed for 57 common nonemergent clinical conditions.
Of 297 physicians, 152 completed the survey, for a response rate of 51.2%. None of the 57 clinical categories achieved at least 85% agreement regarding PA management without direct physician involvement. Twenty-four clinical conditions had ≥ 15% agreement that any PA involvement would be inappropriate. For the remaining 33 clinical conditions, more than 85% of respondents felt that PA could appropriately manage but were divided between requiring direct and only indirect physician supervision. Respondents' selection of the number of conditions felt to be appropriate for PA involvement varied between the size of the emergency department (ED) in which they work (larger EDs 87.7–89.1% v. smaller EDs 74.2%) and familiarity with the clinical work of PAs in the ED (90.5–91.5% v. 82.2–84.7%).
This national survey of Canadian PED physicians suggests that they feel PAs could help care for a large number of nonemergent clinical cases coming to the PED, but these clinical encounters would have to be directly supervised by a physician.
To determine the willingness of parents of children visiting a pediatric emergency department to have a physician assistant (PA) assess and treat their child and the waiting time reduction sufficient for them to choose to receive treatment by a PA rather than wait for a physician.
After describing the training and scope of practice of PAs, we asked caregivers of children triaged as urgent to nonurgent if they would be willing to have their child assessed and treated by a PA on that visit: definitely, maybe, or never. We also asked the minimum amount of waiting time reduction they would want to see before choosing to receive treatment by a PA rather than wait for a physician.
We approached 320 eligible subjects, and 273 (85.3%) consented to participate. Regarding whether they would be willing to have their child receive treatment by a PA, 140 (51.3%) respondents answered definitely, 107 (39.2%) said maybe, and 26 (9.2%) said never. Most respondents (64.1%) would choose to have their child seen by a PA instead of waiting for a physician if the waiting time reduction were at least 60 minutes (median 60 minutes [interquartile range 60 minutes]). Respondents' perception of the severity of their child's condition was associated with unwillingness to receive treatment by a PA, whereas child's age, presenting complaint, and actual waiting time were not.
Only a small minority of parents of children visiting a pediatric emergency department for urgent to nonurgent issues are unwilling to have their child treated by PAs.
In every social science, there tends to be a recurrent and cyclical preoccupation with the lack of cumulativeness. Some attribute this to the familiar “absence of theory,” and lay it at the doorstep of “barefooted empiricism.” Others might see the culprit lurking in the conceptual morass that often passes for theory, and would suggest that grand schemata that are not — and usually cannot — be tested will hardly make for greater cumulativeness.
There seems to be more than a germ of truth in both of these suspicions, but let me suggest a third possible source of our disappointment. I refer to certain norms and practices found among both the theorizers and the empiricists: those folkways that we pick up in college and graduate school, and are seldom able to shake in the postdoctoral years. On the assumption that an awareness of them and their implications may lead to their gradual extinction, I itemize here a few of what may be our less attractive foibles. While some of them may be peculiar to the field of world politics, most seem to be found all across the discipline.
Understanding the timing of mountain glacier and paleolake expansion and retraction in the Great Basin region of the western United States has important implications for regional-scale climate change during the last Pleistocene glaciation. The relative timing of mountain glacier maxima and the well-studied Lake Bonneville highstand has been unclear, however, owing to poor chronological limits on glacial deposits. Here, this problem is addressed by applying terrestrial cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating to a classic set of terminal moraines in Little Cottonwood and American Fork Canyons in the western Wasatch Mountains. The exposure ages indicate that the main phase of deglaciation began at 15.7 ± 1.3 ka in both canyons. This update to the glacial chronology of the western Wasatch Mountains can be reconciled with previous stratigraphic observations of glacial and paleolake deposits in this area, and indicates that the start of deglaciation occurred during or at the end of the Lake Bonneville hydrologic maximum. The glacial chronology reported here is consistent with the growing body of data suggesting that mountain glaciers in the western U.S. began retreating as many as 4 ka after the start of northern hemisphere deglaciation (at ca. 19 ka).
This article argues that the international financial consequences of immigration exert a substantial influence on the choice of exchange rate regimes in the developing world. Over the past two decades, migrant remittances have emerged as a significant source of external finance for developing countries, often exceeding conventional sources of capital such as foreign direct investment and bank lending. Remittances are unlike nearly all other capital flows in that they are stable and move countercyclically relative to the recipient country's economy. As a result, they mitigate the costs of forgone domestic monetary policy autonomy and also serve as an international risk-sharing mechanism for developing countries. The observable implication of these arguments is that remittances increase the likelihood that policy makers adopt fixed exchange rates. An analysis of data on de facto exchange rate regimes and a newly available data set on remittances for up to 74 developing countries from 1982 to 2006 provides strong support for these arguments. The results are robust to instrumental variable analysis and the inclusion of multiple economic and political variables.